Matt Slauson fined $10,000 for block on Texans LB Brian Cushing
During the second quarter of Houston Texan’s 23-17 win against the New York Jets, Brian Cushing tore his left anterior cruciate ligament upon a chop block by Matt Slauson. Although, Brian Cushing initially managed to hobble off the field, he did not return again in the game. The Houston Texans placed him on the injured reserve Wednesday, where Brian Cushing will probably sit out the rest of the season.
Veteran Tim Dobbins will be filling in for Brian Cushing in the lineup, while the Houston Rockets also signed linebacker Barret Rudd to the open roster spot.
Matt Slauson contested on Wednesday that he’d performed a “clean block,” and did not mean to injure Brian Cushing.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan too defended Matt Slauson on Thursday, calling Brian Cushing’s injury an “unfortunate” incident.
“I heard that the league is looking into that,” Rex Ryan stated earlier. “My take when I saw it, and now I’ve seen TV copies and all that, is that obviously, it’s an unfortunate thing.”
Rex Ryan reiterated that Matt Slauson did not intend to hurt Brian Cushing.
“I know the intent of Matt Slauson was not to injure Brian Cushing, without question,” claimed Rex Ryan.
A blindside block cannot be called out however, and unnecessary blocks usually don’t fetch fines. However, given the brutality of the hit, Matt Slauson was penalized by the NFL. Even Wade Philips failed to find issues with legality of the block and based his argument on that the lack of necessity of the hit.
“Whether it was legal or not,” stated Wade Philips, “all that stuff — I think it’s just unnecessary to hit a defensive player when he can’t see you.”
Wade Philips acknowledged that only if Matt Slauson had hot Brian Cushing in the head or neck area, then only he could have been flagged under those particular circumstances.
“If a guy’s coming in front of me and cuts me, he can see that and yeah, they can get away with that,” stated Wade Philips. “But when they don’t see you, I think the league needs to look at something like that.”
Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown claimed that while his team also extensively utilized cut-blocking in its offensive scheme, they always went upfield on the play.
“The way he (Brian Cushing) got cut, the guy (Matt Slauson) was actually coming back towards the play,” said Duane Brown. “He was facing the running back, coming back toward the line of scrimmage, which I don’t think is legal.”
Duane Brown claimed that team’s coached their offensive linemen not to cut-block downfield so as to avoid injuring defensive players.
A former collegiate teammate of Brian Cushing’s advocated from him on twitter, claiming that the NFL adopted “double standards” in the protection of offensive and defensive players.
While Wade Philips wasn’t a 100 percent in agreement with that notion, he believed that Brian Cushing’s injury will help to raise awareness about protecting the defensive players.